Best Tire Pressure for Fat Tire E-Bikes in the Winter Snow
Riding a fat tire e-bike in winter can be tricky because one day the trails are going to be hard and fast and the next day they're going to be soft and loose. Tire pressure or tire choice can make or break your winter riding experience. It's of importance to set up the proper tire pressure to allow maximum traction for more speed, dust, and fun. It also helps to keep the trails in good condition. So, what tools are you going to need? A standard floor pump won't be good enough to give you the proper reading at such low tire pressures. So, I recommend you invest in a one to 15 PSI tire gauge. We recommend the Schwalbe Airmax Pro 6010, which is a digital gauge. It has an adapter that allows you to use it on Presta or Schrader valves.
Generally speaking, a heavier rider needs to bump up its tire pressure. It might just be a case of a few more PSI, but it does make a difference. A one PSI difference in a four or five-inch tire will have a massive influence on how your fat bike handles. Too much pressure and you will feel like you have no traction. Too low of a pressure, your bike will be squirmish and also you will have to use a lot of energy to pedal through your ride. What's important is to find a tire pressure that you know will work well on hard-packed snow. Starting from there, you can adjust depending on the conditions in which you're going to ride in. I usually start out with six PSI at the back and five PSI at the front.
If you know the snow is going to be loose, let some air out, probably around one to 1.5 PSI per tire to accommodate for the more slippery tracks that you’re going to be riding in. This will allow you to have better traction, feel more in control, be confident, and carry more speed, which allows the rider to have more fun. Letting out one or two PSI makes a huge difference on your traction. Take into consideration how much you weigh. Always measure your tire pressure at ambient outside temperature. If you measure inside your home and then bring your bike outside where it's colder, your tire pressure is going to drop and it'll be way too low. How do you know you've got proper tire pressure for yourself? Easy. You're going to be more confident carrying more speed through corners, you're going to feel a lot more traction, and you're going to feel like every pedal stroke is more efficient.
The reason why people talk so much about tire pressure and adjust it all the time is that they're chasing that feeling. If you are still unsure, if you have the right tire pressure for yourself, ask a buddy, and feel their tire. If their tire feels softer than yours, letting out a little bit of air can do wonders for your ride.
Don't forget that tire pressure makes a difference on any type of bike. It's even more crucial when fat biking on snow. Although these are great recommendations and we vouch for them, you will have to go through the trial and error process to find the proper pressure for you. Don't forget the tire pressure you use depends on rider weight, the condition of the trails, and also the size of your tire. Mess around with different tire pressures and see what gives you the best ride overall.